Saturday, January 26, 2008

NT Wright on Jewish prophecy

There is a famous prophecy in Daniel 9:26 about the death of the Messiah.

'After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.'

NT Wright says Here that 'There were, to be sure, several variations on Jewish messianic belief in this period. None of them envisaged a Messiah who would die at the hands of the pagans.'

How can we be sure that there were no Jews who believed that Daniel 9:26 prophesied that the Messiah would be killed? Has Wright surveyed every Jew from that period and established that not one of them took Daniel 9:26 as a prophecy about the death of a Messiah at the hands of the pagans?

If Wright has not done such a survey, how can he claim to know what every single Jew in the first century would or would not have believed?

History can only tell us what the majority of people in a period believed.

But some minorities are always too small to have their beliefs recorded.

But that basic fact about history never stops Christian apologists like NT Wright declaring that it is a fact that there could not have been a tiny minority of people in any era who did not believe what the majority of people believed.

Christian apologists, like NT Wright and William Lane Craig, tend to ride roughshod over historical method.


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